With tens of millions of mice used each year in biomedical research, Mouse Specifics, Inc. aims to provide a better experience for the animals, the researchers studying them, and the patients we hope benefit from these numerous studies. It is widely known that anesthesia has profound effects on the heart in animals and people. How translatable, we asked, is cardiac data obtained from an anesthetized mouse to an active child with a congenital heart defect? And since most of us would prefer NOT to have a 6 pound slug implanted into our bellies [the human relative size of mouse telemetry transmitters], we developed the ECGenie, a patented non-invasive instrument for monitoring the heart in conscious moving mice.

Tens of thousands of animals have now been studied this way, advancing understanding of diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and stroke, to name a few. And what of human locomotion, a coveted gift by those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis? So often do these disorders sneak up on us idiosyncratically, only gradually affecting our gait. Though there are log-rolling contests at the Oregon state fair ,few of us do that daily. Yet a common test for an animal’s motor ability is balancing on a rotating dowel. It should come as no surprise that therapeutic advancements based on footprints left by mice with poster paint on their paws, walking at random speeds, have been lacking. We developed DigiGait to quantify how mice and rats walk under a range of conditions – from voluntary walking to running uphill at high speeds.

Having the laboratory animals walk and run, activities dear to patients with motor disturbances, under tightly controlled and relevant conditions, will increase the understanding and treatment of a wide range of disorders. About Mouse Specifics? This is what we do – develop and support instrumentation and protocols to increase the translation and relevance of preclinical animal studies to the improvement of animal and human health.

”It is clear that the mouse has become essential to our understanding of the mechanisms of numerous human diseases and development of therapies, and we are happy participants in this research. Yet, tens of millions of mice are sacrificed each year. With foresight and ingenuity, we should be able to efficiently obtain more and better data from every mouse.”

– Thomas G. Hampton, PhD, Director & CEO, Mouse Specifics, Inc., Boston.

Mouse Specifics, Inc. designs, develops, and implements tools for characterizing animal physiology to support research in treating human diseases. In doing so, we strive to refine, reduce, and replace the use of animals in research